1974 Minnesota Vikings Season
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1974 Minnesota Vikings Season
1974 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coachBud Grant
Home fieldMetropolitan Stadium
Division place1st NFC Central
Playoff finishWon NFC Divisional Playoff
(Cardinals) 30-14
Won NFC Championship Game
(Rams) 14-10
Lost Super Bowl IX
(vs. Steelers) 6-16

The 1974 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 14th in the National Football League. They won the NFC Central with a 10-4 record, before defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 30-14 in the NFC divisional playoff game, followed by a 14-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams to claim their second consecutive NFC championship. They then lost 16-6 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl IX at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, becoming the first team to lose consecutive Super Bowls.


1974 Draft

1974 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Selection
1 17 Fred McNeill Linebacker UCLA from Falcons[a]
25 Steve Riley Offensive tackle USC
2 29 John Holland Wide receiver Tennessee State from Chargers[b]
51 Matt Blair Linebacker Iowa State
3 64 Steve Craig Tight end Northwestern from Packers via Chargers[b]
77 Scott Anderson Center Missouri
4 86 Mike Townsend Defensive back Notre Dame from Saints[c]
103 Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals[d]
5 120 Jim Ferguson Defensive back Stanford from Broncos[e]
128 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[h] from Rams[g]
129 Traded to the Baltimore Colts[f]
6 155 Mark Kellar Running back Northern Illinois
7 181 Fred Tabron Running back Southwest Missouri State
8 207 Berl Simmons Kicker TCU
9 232 Sam McCullum Wide receiver Montana State
10 259 Barry Reed Running back Peru State
11 285 Dave Boone Defensive end Eastern Michigan
12 311 Randy Poltl Defensive back Stanford
13 337 Gary Keller Defensive tackle Utah
14 363 Alan Dixon Running back Harding
15 389 Kurt Wachtler Defensive tackle St. John's
16 415 John Goebel Running back St. Thomas
17 441 Earl Garrett Defensive back Boston State
^[a] The Vikings traded QB Bob Lee and LB Lonnie Warwick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Atlanta's first-round selection (17th overall) and QB Bob Berry.
^[b] The Vikings traded LB Carl Gersbach and RB Clinton Jones to the San Diego Chargers in exchange for San Diego's second-round selection and the third-round selection they received from the Green Bay Packers (29th and 64th overall).
^[c] The Vikings traded TE Bob Brown to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for New Orleans' fourth-round selection (86th overall) and 1973 sixth-round selection.
^[d] The Vikings traded their fourth-round selection (103rd overall) to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for OG Steve Lawson.
^[e] The Vikings traded WR Gene Washington to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Denver's fifth-round selection (120th overall) and WR Rod Sherman.
^[f] The Vikings traded their fifth-round selection (129th overall) to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for DB Charlie Stukes.
^[g] The Vikings traded DB Charlie Stukes to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Los Angeles' fifth-round selection (128th overall).
^[h] The Vikings traded the fifth-round selection they received from the Los Angeles Rams (128th overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for LB Ron Porter.



Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance[1]
1 August 10 at Denver Broncos L 21-27 0-1 Mile High Stadium 23,822
2 August 19 at Miami Dolphins L 9-21 0-2 Miami Orange Bowl 67,693
3 August 25 Buffalo Bills W 32-13 1-2 Metropolitan Stadium 46,553
4 August 31 at St. Louis Cardinals W 14-10 2-2 Busch Memorial Stadium 38,040
5 September 7 San Diego Chargers W 42-0 3-2 Metropolitan Stadium 46,553

Regular season


Game Date Opponent Result Record Game site Attendance
1 September 15 at Green Bay Packers W 32-17 1-0 Lambeau Field 56,267
2 September 22 at Detroit Lions W 7-6 2-0 Tiger Stadium 49,703
3 September 29 Chicago Bears W 11-7 3-0 Metropolitan Stadium 46,217
4 October 6 at Dallas Cowboys W 23-21 4-0 Texas Stadium 57,847
5 October 13 Houston Oilers W 51-10 5-0 Metropolitan Stadium 48,006
6 October 20 Detroit Lions L 16-20 5-1 Metropolitan Stadium 47,807
7 October 27 New England Patriots L 14-17 5-2 Metropolitan Stadium 48,177
8 November 3 at Chicago Bears W 17-0 6-2 Soldier Field 33,343
9 November 11 at St. Louis Cardinals W 28-24 7-2 Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium 50,183
10 November 17 Green Bay Packers L 7-19 7-3 Metropolitan Stadium 47,924
11 November 24 at Los Angeles Rams L 17-20 7-4 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 90,266
12 December 1 New Orleans Saints W 29-9 8-4 Metropolitan Stadium 44,202
13 December 7 Atlanta Falcons W 23-10 9-4 Metropolitan Stadium 47,105
14 December 14 at Kansas City Chiefs W 35-15 10-4 Arrowhead Stadium 35,480


Game summaries

Week 1 at Packers

Week 2: at Detroit Lions

Week 3: vs. Chicago Bears

Week 4: at Dallas Cowboys

Week 5: vs. Houston Oilers

Week 6: vs. Detroit Lions

Week 7: vs. New England Patriots

Week 8: at Chicago Bears

Week 9: at St. Louis Cardinals

Week 10: vs. Green Bay Packers

Week 11: at Los Angeles Rams

Week 12: vs. New Orleans Saints

Week 13: vs. Atlanta Falcons

Week 14: at Kansas City Chiefs


NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings 10 4 0 .714 4-2 8-3 310 195 W3
Detroit Lions 7 7 0 .500 3-3 6-5 256 270 L1
Green Bay Packers 6 8 0 .429 3-3 4-7 210 206 L3
Chicago Bears 4 10 0 .286 2-4 4-7 152 279 L2


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
NFC Divisional Playoff December 21, 1974 St. Louis Cardinals W 30-14 Metropolitan Stadium 48,150
Conference Championship December 29, 1974 Los Angeles Rams W 14-10 Metropolitan Stadium 48,444
Super Bowl IX January 12, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers L 6-16 Tulane Stadium 80,997

NFC Divisional Playoff

Aided by the Cardinals' turnovers, the Vikings scored 16 points in less than 7 minutes in the third quarter. On their first possession of the game, St. Louis drove to the Vikings 35-yard line, but lost the ball on a failed 4th-and-1 conversion attempt. St. Louis eventually got onto the scoreboard first with quarterback Jim Hart's 13-yard touchdown pass to receiver Earl Thomas, but Minnesota countered when quarterback Fran Tarkenton completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to John Gilliam. The 7-7 tie would last till the end of the half. The Cardinals had a chance to take the lead with a 56-yard drive to the Vikings 6-yard line, but Jim Bakken missed a 23-yard field goal attempt as time expired.[3]

On the third play of the second half, Vikings defensive back Jeff Wright intercepted a pass from Hart and returned it 18 yards to set up Fred Cox's 37-yard field goal, giving his team a 10-7 lead. Exactly 60 seconds later, on the Cardinals' ensuing drive, Terry Metcalf lost a fumble while being leveled by Vikings linemen Alan Page and Carl Eller. Cornerback Nate Wright picked up the loose ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown that increased Minnesota's lead to 17-7. A few minutes later, Tarkenton finished off a 16-point quarter with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Gilliam. In the fourth quarter, Vikings running back Chuck Foreman, who finished the game with 114 rushing yards and 5 receptions for 54 yards, recorded a 4-yard touchdown run to give Minnesota a 30-7 lead. By the time Metcalf rushed for an 11-yard fourth-quarter touchdown, the game was already out of reach for the Cardinals.

NFC Championship

On an unusually balmy day for December in Minnesota, the Vikings were able to hold onto the ball for the final 5:37 of the game to preserve a 14-10 victory. After a scoreless first quarter, Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton threw a 29-yard touchdown to Jim Lash. Rams kicker David Ray later added a 27-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3 before halftime. In the third quarter, Los Angeles advanced the ball from their own 1-yard line to the Minnesota 1-yard line. The big play on the drive was a 73-yard pass play to Harold Jackson, who was finally pushed out of bounds at the Vikings 2 by safety Jeff Wright. With the ball inside the one-yard line, Rams guard Tom Mack was controversially called for illegal procedure (replays showed Mack did not move). Moved back to the six-yard line, the Rams were forced to pass for a touchdown on third down but the pass was deflected and Vikings linebacker Wally Hilgenberg intercepted the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Minnesota then went on a 15-play drive that took almost eight minutes off the clock to score on Dave Osborn's 4-yard touchdown run. With 7:15 left to play in the game, the Rams then cut the deficit to 14-10 with Harold Jackson's 44-yard touchdown reception. Then after forcing the Vikings to punt, Los Angeles drove to the Minnesota 45-yard line. But a third down sack forced the Rams to punt again and the Vikings kept the ball to run out the clock.

Super Bowl IX


Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Fran Tarkenton 2,598
Passing touchdowns Fran Tarkenton 17
Rushing yards Chuck Foreman 777
Rushing touchdowns Chuck Foreman 9
Receiving yards Jim Lash 631
Receiving touchdowns Chuck Foreman 6
Points Chuck Foreman 90
Kickoff return yards Brent McClanahan 549
Punt return yards Jackie Wallace 191
Interceptions Nate Wright 6

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 26)
Passing offense 2,755 196.8 2nd
Rushing offense 1,856 132.6 15th
Total offense 4,611 329.4 3rd
Passing defense 2,302 164.4 18th
Rushing defense 1,605 114.6 5th
Total defense 3,907 279.1 10th


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